Is experience the best teacher? A multilevel analysis of teacher characteristics and student achievement in low performing schools
- 1k Downloads
The study investigated several teacher characteristics, with a focus on two measures of teaching experience, and their association with second grade student achievement gains in low performing, high poverty schools in a Mid-Atlantic state. Value-added models using three-level hierarchical linear modeling were used to analyze the data from 1,544 students, 154 teachers, and 53 schools. Results indicated that traditional teacher qualification characteristics such as licensing status and educational attainment were not statistically significant in producing student achievement gains. Total years of teaching experience was also not a significant predictor but a more specific measure, years of teaching experience at a particular grade level, was significantly associated with increased student reading achievement. We caution researchers and policymakers when interpreting results from studies that have used only a general measure of teacher experience as effects are possibly underestimated. Policy implications are discussed.
KeywordsTeacher effects Teacher quality Reading HLM Certification Teacher experience Low performing schools
- Alexander, K., & Entwisle, D. (1988). Achievement in the first two years of school: Patterns and processes. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 53(2).Google Scholar
- Birman, B., Le Floch, K., Klekotka, A., Ludwig, M., Taylor, J., Walters, K., et al. (2007). State and local implementation of the NCLB Act: Volume II- Teacher quality under NCLB: Interim report. RAND Corporation. Retrieved on August 1, 2008, from http://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/RP1283/.
- Boyd, D., Lankford, H., & Wyckoff, J. (2008). Increasing the effectiveness of teachers in low-performing schools. In H. F. Ladd & E. B. Fiske (Eds.), Handbook of research in education finance and policy (pp. 535–550). Routledge.Google Scholar
- Coleman, J. S., Campbell, E. Q., Hobson, C. J., McPartland, J., Mood, A. M., Weinfeld, A. D., et al. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
- Goldhaber, D. (2008). Teachers matter, but effective teacher quality policies are elusive. In H. F. Ladd & E. B. Fiske (Eds.), Handbook of research in education finance and policy (pp. 146–165). Routledge.Google Scholar
- Goldhaber, D., & Brewer, D. (1996). Evaluating the effect of teacher degree level on educational performance. In W. Fowler (Ed.), Developments in school finance (pp. 197–210). Washington, DC: NCES.Google Scholar
- Goldhaber, D., & Brewer, D. (1998). When should we reward degrees for teachers? Phi Delta Kappan, 134–138.Google Scholar
- Goldhaber, D., & Brewer, D. (2000). Does teacher certification matter? High school teacher certification status and student achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 22(2), 129–145.Google Scholar
- Good, T., & Brophy, J. (1994). Looking in classrooms (6th ed.). New York, NY: Collins.Google Scholar
- Greenwald, R., Hedges, L., & Laine, R. (1996). The effect of school resources on student achievement. Review of Educational Research, 3, 361–396.Google Scholar
- Hanushek, E. A. (1986). The economics of schooling: Production and efficiency in public schools. The Journal of Economic Literature, 24, 1141–1177.Google Scholar
- Harcourt Assessment, Inc. (2004). Stanford reading first: Technical data report. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment, Inc.Google Scholar
- Huang, F., & Moon, T. (2008). Reading First’s impact on reading outcomes on second grade students: One county’s experience in a Mid-Atlantic state. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY. (March).Google Scholar
- Ingersoll, R. (2002). Holes in the teacher supply bucket. School Administrator, 59(3), 42–43.Google Scholar
- International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (2007). Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study: Teacher Questionnaire. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from http://timss.bc.edu/TIMSS2007/PDF/T07_TeacherQ_G4.pdf.
- Johnson, F., & Cornman, S. (2008). Findings from the Pilot Teacher Compensation Survey: School year 2005–06 (NCES 2008-440). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, D.C. Retrieved July 5, 2008, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008440.
- Kane, T. J., Rockoff, J. E., & Staiger, D. (2006). What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City. NBER Working Paper Series, Vol. w12155. Retrieved March 5, 2008 from http://ssrn.com/abstract=896463.
- Madaus, G., Kellaghan, T., Rakow, E., & King, D. (1979). The sensitivity of measures of school effectiveness. Harvard Educational Review, 49, 207–230.Google Scholar
- Matthes, W. A., Tollerud, T. R., & Langeveldt, W. (1990). Teacher beliefs regarding career ladders and merit pay. Education, 110, 535–40.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Reynolds, C., Livingston, R., & Willson, V. (2006). Measurement and assessment in education. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Rosenthal, R., & Jacobson, L. (1968). Pygmalion in the classroom. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
- Rowan, B. (2004). Teachers matter: Evidence from value-added assessments. Research Points. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
- Sanders, W. L., & Rivers, J. C. (1996). Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future student academic achievement. Research Progress Report. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Value-Added Research and Assessment Center.Google Scholar
- Snow, C. E., Burns, M. S., & Griffin, P. (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington, D.C.: National Academy.Google Scholar
- Summers, A., & Wolfe, B. (1977). Do schools make a difference? The American Economic Review, 67, 639–652.Google Scholar
- U. S. Department of Education. (2004). New No Child Left Behind flexibility: Highly qualified teachers. Retrieved July 5, 2008, from http://www.ed.gov/nclb/methods/teachers/hqtflexibility.html. March.
- Wöβmann, L. (2005). Europe’s schools. Education Policy, 445–504.Google Scholar
- Word, E., Johnson, J., Bain, H., Fulton, D., Zaharias, J., Lintz, M., et al. (1990). Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR): Tennessee’s K-3 class-size study. Nashville, TN: Tennessee State Department of Education.Google Scholar